By Duncan Mackay

Natalie du Toit head and shouldersFebruary 10 - Natalie du Toit, one of the greatest Paralympic competitors in history, has been appointed to the new Board of directors at the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS).

The 29-year-old from Cape Town retired from competitive swimming after London 2012 having won 13 gold medals and two silver in the Paralympics during her career.

Du Toit also represented South Africa at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, finishing 16th in the open water swim.

South Africe chose du Toit to carry their flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, making her the first athlete to carry a flag in both Olympics and Paralympics in a single year.

"Drug-free was always important in my career," she told BBC Sport.

"I went out there and was too scared to even take cough mixture.

"It was important I raced knowing it was me and nothing else.

"There are people out there who don't think like that and who want that medal or world record so badly.

"Hopefully we can make it clean at all levels, even at school level, and create awareness.

"A stronger punishment has to go across the board and it is important to treat everyone the same, but how do you do that when everyone is on different substances?

Natalie du Toit with London 2012 gold medalNatalie du Toit retired after London 2012, where she won three gold medals and a silver

"Ninety-five per cent of athletes are not caught and is it fair to just give bans to those five per cent who are?

"Sometimes you can make an example out of someone, but then everyone has to be treated on the same level."

Du Toit, who made her international debut in 1998 at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, claimed that she is not missing competing and is happy watching new youngsters in South Africa try to follow her.

"I wish them all the best and my message is please break all those records [I set]," she said.

"I've been lucky enough to travel the world and win awards and medals but it was time to stop.

"I wanted to be young enough to study and have a life.

"I walk out knowing I have done everything and achieved everything I had set for myself."

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